The Decade of Management Consulting Innovation

Gary Hamel states in his famous book "The Future of Management" that management  has become a maturing technology that has evolved rapidly in the first half of the 20th century and now reached a local peak. I found this intriguing and since I started my research into the consulting services market it has been the maxim of my work.

My journey began in 2008 with doing extensive research on the evolution of management over the past 100 years. We identified the key management paradigms and models and defined what a paradigm and model in management basically is. This analysis led to the first report "Innovating Strategic Management Paradigms And Models To Thrive Amid Global Change". At this time however, we focused primarily on industry and academia-driven paradigms and models.

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Results of Forrester's innovation trends blog challenge

Recently I asked for your
comments around some of the key trends in innovation consulting in our first
blog challenge
. Thank you all for your feedback -- there were some great,
innovative ideas, which I’ll try to synthesize here. I see these ideas as forming
the start of a value chain of innovation -- that of first understanding the
objective, then the specific process to achieve innovation, and finally the outcome
of the innovation. The key points are:

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M&A Activity In The Current Downturn Re-Shapes The Software And Services Markets

A couple of weeks ago I finished a review of the key M&A events in the software and services markets in the first half of 2009. In the research we analyzed the M&A, including divestment, activities of about 100 leading software and services providers. Unsurprisingly the volume of M&A deals was not very high, but what was key to our approach was examining the drivers underlying the acquisitions – why were companies making transactions and how would they affect their portfolio and go-to market approaches.

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Introducing the blog challenge on innovation trends

Dear readers and friends of our blog,

conversations with CEOs and managing partners of innovation consulting
specialist firms inspired me to write a piece on trends in the
innovation consulting services market. This report is nearly done and
will be published in a couple of weeks.

You have the chance to
receive a free copy of this 10-pager before its official publication.
What do you have to do? Simply share your view on trends in innovation
with us. My colleague Chris Andrews and I will then select the best
three responses from all your comments. The timeline? This challenge
will end on Monday 21 September, 2009 at noon EST.

As a starter, let me give you a sneak preview on two of the key trends that I am outlining in my report:

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The vision thing -- where is it?

For my latest report -- Innovating Corporate Strategy Services -- I analyzed services providers' (from classical management consulting firms to traditional IT providers, from very small to very large organizations) track record in the innovation of lead themes or paradigms.

Thought leadership efforts play a highly significant role, especially in consulting services (they grant you access to the big guys, they drive new services and engagements, and generate recognition in an IP- dominated environment), however I was surprised about the small number that I found in the end.

All the smart people, all the dedicated research organizations, and obviously all the great client engagements have not really led to more sophisticated forward-looking thinking and "next big things"

Two key conclusions I came up with:

1. Most IT providers lag the vision thing: In a world shifting from IT to BT, providers must become not only tech but business visionaries. They tend to assimilate to trends and paradigms rather than innovate or shape them.

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Do you have a strategy?...

... is one of the fundamental questions we ask in our strategy & global trends 2009 online survey.

With this survey we want to get a better understanding on how you as vendor strategist have set or shaped the corporate framework of your software, hardware, services, or telecommunications company -- for today, and for the next 3-5 years. Is your strategy more centered around your company and products or around your customers and what is your internal approach to strategy -- top down or bottom up?

In addition, we ask how shorter- and longer-term trends across economic cycle dynamics, globalization patterns, technology adoption, and corporate responsibility is affecting your business.

Please follow this link to participate:

We would really appreciate your time.



The end of the highly diversifed organization...

...represents a real opportunity for M&A services providers. While conducting my research into the M&A and broader corporate strategy services space, I observed that business intelligence and performance management (BI&PM) programs are still very high on the executive agenda. Increased investment in analytic capabilities, as well as moves to becoming more sophisticated and transparent, will lead to the end of the highly diversified organization. Why? With these new capabilities companies will have a better picture of their portfolio and will be able to more wisely invest/divest into core/non-core-related assets. In the next 4-5 years we will see -- induced/accelerated by the recession -- that companies will move closer again to their core business, and not only for cost reasons. Hence BI&PM will fuel M&A activity and also lead to better M&As. I am postulating that there is a positive correlation between "analytic maturity " and " M&A maturity".

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